Click Here for Wellington Water Watchers press release
Nestle Waters Canada Permit to Take Water
Nestle Waters Canada has applied for an unprecedented 10 year permit extension to take 3.6 million litres of water per day at the Aberfoyle site. We strongly oppose this permit for the reasons stated in the attached document, Wellington Water Watchers Technical Submission. Please feel free to use these comments for your own submission which can be copied into the following Ministry of Environment Comment Link – http://www.ebr.gov.on.ca/ERS-WEB-External/searchComment.do?actionType=add¬iceId=MTEyMjA2&statusId=MTY4MzIw¬iceHeaderIdString=MTEyMjA2. Or use the short points listed below to help you make your case to the Ministry.
Please note we have requested a much needed extension to this comment period but currently comments must be in on or before March 5. Your comments are critical to letting the Ministry of Environment know about your concerns.
The Wellington Water Watchers is a not-for-profit organization and your financial support is much appreciated and funds are needed to support this and other important campaigns.
Wellington Water Watchers opposes this application because:
· The amount of groundwater in our Grand River watershed is not known. Allowing large-volume water taking is like writing blank cheques on a bank account with an unknown balance.
· Water is too valuable a resource to be given away – and that’s virtually what our province does by charging Nestlé and others a mere $3.71 for every million litres taken.
· In 2010, Nestlé paid just $2,238 for over 600 million litres of water taken from Mill Creek in Aberfoyle. This works out to about .0000004 cents per litre, a far cry from the true value of such a priceless resource.
· Environmental harm being done. The millions of litres taken weekly are put into single-use, disposable plastic bottles. The industry claims 60% of these bottles are recycled – as what? – but that still means hundreds of millions every year become litter, or trash in our landfills. We call this a permit to pollute.
· There are no water conservation measures built into this renewal permit. The volume of water taken should be decreased annually to encourage water conservation. This is one of the principles of Ontario’s new Water Opportunities Act.
· We believe that water taking is harming Mill Creek. There are no brook trout in the stretch of creek that runs beside the bottling plant, but there are trout in the rest of the creek. Is so much water being taken that it is preventing spring water from upwelling into the stream-bed? Until this is resolved, a precautionary approach should be taken.
· The applicant has asked for an unprecedented 10-year water-taking permit. Yet we have no idea how drought or climate change will affect Guelph’s water supply in years to come. At most, any new permit should be issued for three years or less.
· Much of the water when bottled leaves the Grand River watershed. Justice Dennis O’Connor’s report on the Walkerton tragedy recommended that water be managed on a watershed basis. Nestlé and others should be required to use glass, deposit-bearing bottles that are sold only within the Grand River watershed.